‘MVP candidate’ Hwang Sun-woo wins first gold medal…Heo Yeon-kyung breaks Korean record
South Korean swimming ace Hwang Sun-woo (Gangwon Provincial Office), a favorite for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award at the 104th National Games in Jeonnam, won his first gold medal of the tournament.
Hwang joined Yeon Hee-yoon, Yang Jae-hoon, and Kim Woo-min (all of Gangwon Province) to win the men’s 800-meter freestyle relay in a time of 7:18.42 at the 104th National Games in Mokpo Indoor Pool, Jeollanam-do, on Friday.
After successfully claiming his first gold medal, Hwang will continue his quest for victory in the 200-meter freestyle (16), 400-meter freestyle relay (17), 100-meter freestyle (18) and 400-meter medley relay (19).
He will also swim in the 400-meter medley relay (18), which will be a trial event.
Hwang, who won back-to-back MVP honors at the 102nd edition of the Games, which was canceled due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and the 103rd edition of the Games in Ulsan, where only high school events were held, will attempt to become the first swimmer in history to win MVP honors for three consecutive years.
Kim Seo-young (Gyeongbuk Provincial Office), MVP of the 2019 100th National Games, won gold in the women’s 800-meter freestyle relay with Choi Ji-won, Park Soo-jin, and Lee Do-ryun as part of the Gyeongbuk Select team, finishing first in 8:06.68. The team won its seventh consecutive national championship in the event. 안전놀이터
After the race, Kim Seo-young said through her management company, All That Sports, “After the Asian Games, I was worried about recovering my physical condition, but I’m glad I had a good race in the 800-meter freestyle relay,” and added, “I was able to gain more strength by seeing my teammates doing their best before I was the last runner. I’m glad we were able to win the gold medal together.”
Diving sensation Woo Haram (Korea Sports Promotion Agency) won the men’s 3-meter springboard final with a combined score of 464.90 points in the first through sixth dives, ahead of Kim Young-nam (446.55 points – Jeju Provincial Government) and Lee Jae-kyung (441.30 points – Gwangju Metropolitan Sports Association).
Uharam finished fourth in the same event at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, which concluded this month, behind Lee Jae-kyung (bronze).
In the women’s senior competition, Heo Yeon-kyung (Bangsango) won the 50-meter freestyle final in a Korean record time of 24.97 seconds.
Sprinter Kim Kook-young (Gwangju), who won bronze in the men’s 400-meter relay in Hangzhou, returned to the men’s 100-meter crown after a four-year absence.
Kim won the 100-meter final in 10.35 seconds, beating Park Won-jin (10.40-Sokcho City Hall) and Lee Jun-hyuk (10.43-Ansan City Hall).
Kim Kook-young will try to win multiple titles in the 400-meter dash and 1,600-meter relay.
Kim, the bronze medalist in the hammer throw at the Hangzhou Games, won the gold medal in the women’s high school final in the same event with a meet record of 60.22 meters.
She was nearly 9 meters clear of second-place Park Ha-ran (Daejeon Cheego-51m33).
Roller skater Choi Kwang-ho, who won gold in Hangzhou, was the first to cross the finish line in the 1,000-meter final in 1:24.476.
On the same day, Choi’s wife, Lee Hae-won (Yeosu City Hall), won the same event in the women’s general category.